Letter to The Independent and Redwood Times 12-27-16

Dear Editor,

        I want to reach out to people who are despairing over the horrific damage being done to our home by the expanding marijuana industry.  You aren’t alone.  Habitat Forever is a new environmental group, that is campaigning to move the industry out of habitat.  

        We all know that the War on Drugs is the reason why the marijuana industry took hold here.  People grew here because they could get away with it.  However, that doesn’t equal a mandate to locate a major agricultural industry in Humboldt’s forested mountains.  With legalization, we need a new criterion for where marijuana should be grown.  Protecting habitat and wildlife should be the number one concern.  In the years since Nixon ramped up the War on Drugs, the Earth lost over 50% of its biodiversity.  That is a devastating loss of species.  It is useful to know that habitat loss is the number one cause of extinctions, and that agriculture already covers 40% of Earth’s landmass.  We clearly can’t afford any more agricultural expansion into habitat.  Humboldt’s habitat needs to be protected.  Chopping down swaths of forest and bulldozing meadows and mountainsides, to grow marijuana, is an ecological crime.  Marijuana is a flexible plant that can grow almost anywhere.  People who are serious about growing marijuana need to find a better place to do it.  

          Habitat Forever is waging a public awareness campaign to end the green rush, and alert the public to the environmental costs of Humboldt marijuana, and the response so far is encouraging.  You can view our micro-documentary Humboldt is Habitat on Youtube, or at our website, www.habitatforever.wordpress.com.  You can contact us at habitat@planetmail.com.  Please join us.  We can do this.  Amy Gustin